Hundreds of Bevil Oaks residents get answers at town hall meeting

Bevil Oaks residents packed into a town hall meeting at the Jefferson County Courthouse to discuss their post-Harvey recovery

BEAUMONT - Hundreds of Bevil Oaks residents are waiting to rebuild their homes after Harvey. They may face some roadblocks along the way.

Bud Merendino received over six feet of water in his home and plans on rebuilding.

"I mean I don't have anywhere else to go, that's the only piece of property I own, my shop's there, my dogs are there, everything I own is there so I'm not going anywhere," Merendino said.

Merendino says he and many others did not have flood insurance. He described the insurance prices for living in flood zone AE were “astronomical.”

Merendino and others discussed their concerns with FEMA, the SBA, and Bevil Oaks city councilmembers.

Kimberly Vandver, the city’s floodplain manager explained that homes lying in flood zone AE will likely have to elevate up to two or three feet. Homes in flood zone X will likely not have to elevate.

City council also explained that homeowners looking to rebuild will need a building permit, three completed home inspections, and no more than 19% of moisture can remain in the wood framing of homes.

Among those issues for homeowners, the city of Bevil Oaks is under a boil water notice. Council members say the water and sewer system was decimated by the flooding.

Elevating a home is not a viable option for Merendino.

"I don't plan to elevate, I plan to rebuild my home exactly where it is, my house is paid for, if FEMA decides to not give me any money then that's FEMA's decision," Merendino said.

Bevil Oaks residents are allowed to have travel trailers on their property while they rebuild.

Sewer service may not return to normal for at least two or three weeks, according to the city council.

© 2017 KBMT-TV


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